Bye-bye, Kucinich

Kucinich knows as well as anyone that the president is far from a socialist; he's a centrist corporatist Democrat, and that was clear back when Kucinich stood well to his left during the 2008 primaries. And even though the Cleveland progressive normally avoids partisan calculations about power and opportunity, and votes his conscience and ideology, Kucinich decided to support Obama's healthcare reform plan because right now, partisan calculations about power and opportunity actually serve his left-wing conscience and ideology.

Kucinich understands that there will be no healthcare reform for another generation if this bill doesn't pass. There will be no second Obama term either (and don't dream about lefty primary challenges -- there won't be a Democrat in the White House in 2013 if his name isn't Obama). The only thing worse than being an alleged socialist in American politics is being a weak, ineffectual socialist, and if the president and his party can't get this package passed, despite controlling the White House and a healthy majority in both houses of Congress, they will be rebuked by the voters. And maybe rightly rebuked. What better sign that a party isn't ready to govern? (Joan Walsh, “Dennis Kucinich speaks for me,” Salon, 17 March 2010)

Bye-bye, Kucinich

You read GG and you get a sense that Obama is slowly paving way to wage war against select numbers of the American people. And it is, for me, very difficult to trust the hand-extended, when I know the other is clenching into a fist. YOU support the bill because you care; Kucinich now does so because he saw the fist, and was aroused by the possibility of it. The little dwarf has proven himself no good at all. He will hurt people.

Speaking of Speaking for People

It's nice you printed a response of one of the subjects of "Hipsters on Food Stamps" article, who disputes Mr. Bleyer's reporting. But since Salon set itself up as the main source on "Food Stamp Hipsters" I think you need to do more.

For once, don't act like other media outlets - starting a questionable uproar, then letting it drop with a single perfunctory follow up. Instead actually doing that "larger conversation" journalists so often use to justify their choices and which Salon so often flogs.

You have done multiple articles and follow-ups and responses on Sara Palin, and if Lord of the Rings is a classic. You spent months on every aspect of Hilary Clinton's campaign.

Why not go beyond the occasonal "Pinched" article and spend at least a week scrutinizing Food Stamps, myth and reality, and the ethics and rhetoric of economic trend pieces?

It doesn't involve celebrities, but impacts all of us. And it would be something few journalists are willing to do.

I'm cross posting this letter here in hopes of getting a real genuine response. I think you could do something special here, something which Salon was allegedly created to do. (softdog, response to post)

@softdog

I agree, softdog. That article may well have worked toward creating a new underclass of people for the Newt Gingrichs (on the right AND the left, apparently) to wage war on. We're about to pass healthcare, and those least likely to find coverage under the bill -- students, part-time workers -- are being set up by Salon as deserving less, not more; as worthy of punishment, not assistance. (Akin to what Gingrich did to welfare-"queens.") "They" should not want to play any part in encouraging that evil. It has not yet been remedied.

When we feel a society needs punishment for its previous wickedness, you might think all attention drifts toward the self-indulgent rich. In truth, it goes there, but it is toward the youth that it settles most; for the young represent OUR OWN striving selves, what we at heart most believe brought us into a situation where somewhere above someone menacing is calling for merciless crackdown and tributary sacrifice.

@Patrick McEvoy-Halston

You said...

"...those least likely to find coverage under the bill -- students, part-time workers... "

I would be interested, do you have a link to back this up?

My daughter (a student and a part time worker ) was kicked off of our policy when she hit 22. Now we have to help her pay for an expensive "hit by a bus" policy.

Right now...

"a third of Americans age 19 to 29 are uninsured, the largest and fastest-growing segment of the population lacking health insurance. For those who aren't full-time students, it climbs to 39 percent.

But the new HCB would let parents keep their kids on their insurance until age 27, isn't that a big improvement? (ECHO LEFT, response to post)

@ECHO LEFT

Admittedly, I was going on what I've heard other people say, and, to be honest, an overall intuition that young people are not just not last in line but strapped to tracks ahead of the Obama's societal-renewal express. Glad you chimed in: It would be nice for kids to sense that out there if they lapse or fall, isn't the boogie-man, but a kind catcher in the rye.

All this said, I was for the healthcare passage earlier, primarily -- if you can believe it -- because I think earlier it was passed through the hands of an Obama with still, to us, some 60's progressive effervescence, while now I feel that it has gone, and that the bill will pass because somehow, despite it being about "health" and "care," it'll be part of a conversation that would appeal to Moses as he espied the heathens.

@Patrick McEvoy-Halston

What a lovely reply. You have a gift. (ECHO LEFT, response to post)

Link: Dennis Kucinich speaks for me (Salon)

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